Ameriprise Financial Financial Advisor Frank Velten BARRED

Financial Advisor Frank Velten BARRED

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has barred broker Francis Joseph Velten (Frank Velten), last associated with Ameriprise Financial Services. Accusations against Velten include churning in the accounts of senior investors as well as nudging them to buy bonus annuities in return for their annuity and mutual fund holdings. These transactions resulted in his commission earnings going up while surrender fees were paid by the investors.

Churning is a strategy sometimes used by brokers to earn commissions by trading excessively in customer accounts. It is known malpractice and can cause substantial losses to customers whose accounts are so handled.

Accusations against Velten also include selling away during the period he was a financial advisor with Summit Brokerage Services between 2006 and 2018. His transactions in the accounts of senior investors that led to losses were alleged to be conducted without the approval or knowledge of his firm. His firm at the time, Summit, could be held equally liable for these transactions, even if they claim a lack of awareness about his activities.

Record of Francis Joseph Velten

Velten, a financial advisor, based in New Port Richey, Florida, has been in the industry for 27 years. Apart from his association with Summit, he was registered with the Independent Financial Group as a broker for a year. He had been associated with Ameriprise for only a few months when, in 2020, he was asked to leave by the firm on account of the allegations against him. AG Edwards & Sons and GunAllen Financial are the other firms he was registered with at one time or another.

The 9 customer disputes on his record include:

  • July 2012 – loss of death benefits and guaranteed income alleged by customer following variable annuity exchanges. Case settled for $65K.
  • April 2015 – Claim related to the unsuitability of a variable annuity was settled for $10K.
  • December 2016 – Customer allegations of unsuitability; settled for $14,900.

Broker Fraud: Signs of churning

If you notice your portfolio changes too often, you may suffer from excessive trading. Generally, a “buy-and-hold” strategy is the best method to maintain your investment portfolio. In cases of excessive trading, your broker will have to send you confirmations after each transaction. If you receive these confirmations regularly, it may be time to look for a new broker. Here are some signs of churning in investments:

High-volume trading activity is another indicator of excessive trading. This type of trading can affect conservative investors and people who make repeat purchases or sales. If you see these signs, speak with your broker immediately or seek a second opinion. Ensure your advisor doesn’t have unchecked access to your account and monitor it yourself. Using an investment advisor who charges a fixed fee rather than a commission fee can protect you from churning.

Excessive trading in stocks and bonds is a sign of churning. Brokers may also churn other investment products like life insurance policies, annuities, and mutual funds. In these cases, they may try to increase the commission fees of these products to make them more attractive to customers. In all cases, the frequent trading behavior is counterproductive to your investment goals. Additionally, excessive trading can drive up commission fees, which is a common sign of churning.

Churning is illegal and is often committed by brokers who have a commission. Although many commission-based brokers are honest, some will try to exploit you to increase their profits. This is why it’s vital to keep your account under supervision at all times and be vigilant about your broker’s trading activities. In addition to being careful and aware of your broker’s trading habits, you should also be diligent in keeping track of the performance of your account.

Churning is a fraudulent practice where a stockbroker trades customer accounts in order to earn commissions from trading, which is against your investment objective. Generally, churning is illegal and unethical and carries hefty fines. If a broker makes frequent trades, it’s an indication that your brokerage is engaging in churning, which is illegal and unethical behavior.

Investor recovery options

Have you been a client with Mr. Joseph Velten during his time either in Summit, Ameriprise, or Independent? Are you worried that you could be an unsuspecting victim of his malpractices?
The skilled broker negligence attorneys at Haselkorn & Thibaut pursue investigations in cases involving Velten.

We can help you evaluate your position and explore options. You can reach us at 1-800-856-3352.

Scroll to Top